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Where to take a 15 yo budding "foodie" for her birthday?

m
MWTrio Apr 6, 2011 08:57 AM

Likes almost all kinds of foods, don't want to break the bank, but would like to make it special. In Boston or Cambridge.

  1. digga Apr 6, 2011 05:12 PM

    My own opinion is to go wtih something non-Western. Interactive food, like Little Q, as suggested, shabu-shabu, or Korean BBQ (unless she is a veggie) would be fun. Floating Rock (if it ever opens) or Shanghai Gate (nice atmosphere) would also be special and not-too-spendy. The Rod-Dee on Mass Ave in Porter Sq looks cute, too. Others have commented on the food.

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    Floating Rock
    485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    Shanghai Gate
    204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

    1. k
      Kat Apr 6, 2011 12:37 PM

      Toro! She can try lots of different dishes and the atmosphere/vibe is young and hip.

      1. MC Slim JB Apr 6, 2011 12:10 PM

        The last chance I had to do something like this for a young, aspiring food nerd, I conducted a lengthy Chow crawl, in part based on many wonderful suggestions I first solicited on this board. Here's the follow-up report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/645226 I think it had a bigger educational and inspirational impact than going to one fancier restaurant, and didn't cost much more. But it did take several days.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        2 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB
          f
          FoodDabbler Apr 6, 2011 12:21 PM

          Great list MC. I've done similar things myself with younger people interested in food, but more focused, both in Boston (North End, Chinatown, e.g.) and Manhattan (Chinatown, Village, Lower East Side, Hell's Kichen). These food tours tend to go down well, and they're more active than sitting for three hours over a fancy meal.

          To the OP: a lot would depend on what your "foodie" likes and where she's already eaten. In our case places as diverse as East Coast Grill, T.W.Food, Prezza, Taiwan Cafe, and Shangri La have worked for special occasions (the last two strictly for the food).

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          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Prezza
          24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

          1. re: MC Slim JB
            m
            MWTrio Apr 6, 2011 01:14 PM

            This is great! Thanks for the link.

          2. j
            JoeM Apr 6, 2011 11:23 AM

            All good ideas above. Another suggestion is Eastern Standard; they have good mocktails and you can have try a lot for a little with their charcuterie plate and some offal. Good vibe too

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            Eastern Standard
            528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

            1 Reply
            1. re: JoeM
              i
              Isolda Apr 6, 2011 12:07 PM

              Both Oleana and Bergamot will do fun mocktails. We all remember the fabulous drink they served my daughter at Oleana.

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              Oleana
              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            2. ebone Apr 6, 2011 11:15 AM

              Oleana!

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              Oleana
              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

              1 Reply
              1. re: ebone
                m
                Madrid Apr 6, 2011 02:51 PM

                and the veg tasting menu is fabulous, and a good bargain. you can order some meat/fish veg mezze to supplement and extra diesserts. If you order two veg tastings, you get 10 different dishes.

              2. Pia Apr 6, 2011 11:14 AM

                Haven't been there for a long time, but what about Baraka Cafe in Cambridge? Fairly casual, not a fine dining place, but special in terms of an atmosphere and menu you won't find in many other places.

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                Baraka Cafe
                80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1. Bob Dobalina Apr 6, 2011 09:52 AM

                  This precise question has already been answered - Bergamot -

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/725138

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                    p
                    phonelady Apr 6, 2011 11:09 AM

                    That would be my rec also!

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina
                      i
                      Isolda Apr 6, 2011 12:05 PM

                      Yep, I posted that and my now nearly-16 year old loved Bergamot. She also adores Oleana. If she's bringing her friends, I'd go for Oleana, as there are lots of small plates to share.

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                      Oleana
                      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                    2. m
                      mkfisher Apr 6, 2011 09:50 AM

                      We took a teenage relative to Coppa and she loved it

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                      Coppa
                      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                      1. m
                        makonna Apr 6, 2011 09:31 AM

                        Gran Gusto would be my pick. Have a margerita pizza and change her image of pizza forever. :) I think the food it familiar yet very good.

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                        Gran Gusto
                        90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                        1. srsone Apr 6, 2011 09:28 AM

                          have u asked her where she wants to go?

                          1. GretchenS Apr 6, 2011 09:07 AM

                            A 15 y.o. budding foodie of my acquaintance was recently knocked out (as were we all) by the vegetarian tasting menu at Ten Tables in Cambridge. The rest of us ordered the non-veggie tasting menu, which was very good, but hers was better across the board and a huge bargain at $30 (4 courses). Fun vibe, too.

                            Another possibility is Kebab Factory in Somerville (near Cambridge line) -- it is not as special-occasiony but the food is great and the vibe is fun -- teenagers I have taken there loved it.

                            Shiki in Brookline is another possibility -- think Japanese tapas -- you can try lots of different things and I've not had a miss there. Nice dining room too.

                            -----
                            Shiki
                            9 Babcock Street, Brookline, MA 02446

                            The Kebab Factory
                            414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

                            Ten Tables
                            5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: GretchenS
                              w
                              winedude Apr 6, 2011 01:14 PM

                              +1 on Ten Tables. We did nearly the exact same thing, took a 15 y.o. budding foodie to Ten Tables JP, and we all had the veggie tasting menu. Very interesting, very high quality, and had a certain "excitement" with no one knowing what we'd get until it arrived.

                              It was a big hit.

                              -----
                              Ten Tables
                              5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

                            2. Boston_Otter Apr 6, 2011 09:02 AM

                              Toro or Solea (spanish tapas, lots of things to taste and explore).

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Boston_Otter
                                m
                                MWTrio Apr 6, 2011 01:12 PM

                                That's a good idea. We've never been to Toro, she loves tapas, and we were kind of disappointed in Solea the last time we went. Thanks!

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                                Toro
                                1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                                1. re: MWTrio
                                  hondodog Apr 6, 2011 05:15 PM

                                  Took my son and two of his friends to Toro when my son turned 12. My son's friends aren't foodies, my son has been eating anything and everything placed in front of him, with discernment, since he was 4. They all loved it; my son's friends were at first a bit scared, but they relaxed and enjoyed everything (one said it was the best restaurant meal he'd ever had). Even got them to try the octopus!

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                                  Toro
                                  1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                              2. t
                                three of us Apr 6, 2011 09:02 AM

                                My foodie son loved Little Q Hot Pot in East Arlington. We went for lunch and including beverages and a generous tip, I think the bill came to the low $30s. We had a great time and the food was fantastic.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768018

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: three of us
                                  MrsCheese Apr 7, 2011 03:46 AM

                                  This is exactly what I was going to recommend, though I would maybe go to one of the options in Chinatown to make it a little more "special". My 15year old self would have been thrilled with hotpot for my birthday.

                                2. s
                                  scotty27 Apr 6, 2011 08:58 AM

                                  Tico, Coppa, Craigie on Main, Bon Chon, OM, or Market.

                                  www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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                                  Craigie on Main
                                  853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                  Coppa
                                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                  Tico
                                  222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: scotty27
                                    m
                                    MWTrio Apr 6, 2011 01:11 PM

                                    Thanks. Love Craigie, but a little too expensive. And we just went there for my birthday!

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